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Just become pet parents? Read on to learn how to get it right

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By Puja Gupta

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANSlife) As the pandemic restricted regular social interactions and staying at home emerged as the new normal, people adopted different ways to uplift and cheer their lives. Among the many things that peaked during the lockdown, included pet ownership and adoption.

As people looked to pets to help alleviate fear, anxiety and loneliness, it became one of the top things. Even influencers and celebrities backed the initiative and didn’t shy away from showcasing and promoting pet parenting and adoption on their social media. But pets come with their own set of responsibilities. We need to take care of them as we take care of ourselves or any other family member, by ensuring healthy diet, timely walks, playtime, good health and most important, a hygienic living environment. Maintaining pets and a clean home environment, simultaneously, comes with its own set of challenges.

For many pet owners, the frustration of constantly clearing up hair is an everyday problem, particularly as one has started to spend more time indoors. But spotting the hair is half the battle. Beyond the locks left behind is a world of microscopic mess consisting of skin, hair and dirt.

Why is pet hair such a big issue?

Animal hair stops growing as soon as it reaches a certain length and shed to be replaced by new hair. Frequently, pet hair embeds into carpeted surfaces or electrostatically “sticks” to a hard floor. Beyond the pet hair and food, there is a host of microscopic life that pets bring in with them that’s invisible to the naked eye. Pet dander is just one of those things. Composed of tiny, microscopic, skin particles shed by pets with fur or feathers. It can be shed onto surfaces or transported through the air in household dust. Once airborne, dander and the dust mites that live on it can be inhaled, triggering allergies. As well as dust mites and skin flakes, dried saliva, urine or faeces containing allergens may flake off from an animal’s fur and become airborne, where it can be ingested. Much like dust, dander builds up in soft furnishings such as carpets, mattresses and pillows and is the food source of dust mites.

To ensure the hair is picked up, agitation is required to “peel” it off the surface, which is done by either the airflow from the machine (passive) or the brush bar’s nylon bristles, a form of “active” agitation.

How can you solve this issue?

“A home with pets not only contains pet hair, but also a whole host of pet-related mess. We want to make sure that our vacuums will work effectively in real homes, wherever they are in the world,” says James McCrea, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Dyson.

At Dyson, while designing vacuum cleaners, the company found organic matter, like pet hair and dander, in household dust. “In the development of our vacuums, we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that our technology will work effectively for our owners. In our Pick-Up Laboratory, we test how effective our machines are at removing pet hair from different floor types – from industry standard carpets, all the way to tatami matting commonly found in Japan,” he adds.

You can follow these easy tips, curated by the Dyson Engineer, for managing pet hair and ensuring a clean and healthy home –

1. Groom the source of the problem

Pets shed much more regularly than humans do, so grooming your pet frequently will avoid hair being deposited in your home. Groom your pet in the same area and spot clean this with slow vacuuming using a Mini-Motorised tool, designed with nylon bristles to remove embedded pet hair and dander.

2. Clean from top to bottom

Like dust, pet hair and dander can become airborne when disturbed and fall onto lower surfaces, so start cleaning up high and finish on your floors. Don’t miss out armchairs and sofa, especially if your pet spends time there.

3. Wash pet blankets and remove covers

Washing blankets, cushions and bedding, wherever your pets spend the most time, at 60 degrees Celsius will help to break down allergens and reduce the amount of microscopic dander that dust mites feed on. At the end of the wash, make sure you remove any pet hair out of the drum.

4. Vacuum slowly and in different directions

Vacuuming slowly gives the airflow and brush bar more time to “agitate” the pet hair and remove it from the surface. Go over the carpet a few times in alternating directions to pick up more pet hair and agitate some of those embedded ones loose. But don’t forget, any more than two or three times gives minimal increase according to our research.

5. Vacuum little and often

Pet hair is more likely to clump on carpets or form tumbleweed on hard floor surfaces than human hair. Vacuuming less and often prevents excessive build-up of pet hair.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

–IANS

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